For many individuals losing weight is a tough nut to crack. It is a battle that tests your willpower to the limit.
But, keeping your body in shape is an incentive very few can resist. People want to lose weight, and get rid of body fat, not just for the sake of beauty, but also because it helps you stay healthy.
The growing awareness about health issues related to weight gain provides the required thrust to scores of people around the world to fight this deadly menace called obesity. After all, obesity increases the risk of several diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some forms of cancer.
Losing weight might seem a difficult task to accomplish, but it certainly is not impossible. In fact, there is nothing in this world that you can’t do, all it requires is a bit of determination, some hard work, and the right kind of advice.
You must be aware of the basic mantra of losing weight – eat less and exercise more. But, when it comes to losing weight there is more to it than just move more and eat less. And, it is quite possible that the advice you are following is flawed or outdated.
No one is perfect, we all make mistakes. A mature person is one who learns from his or mistake and moves on in life.
In this blog, we will take you through some common mistakes individuals commit when trying to lose weight.
As mentioned earlier, nothing is impossible, all it requires is a bit of application, self-control, and determination.
There are methods you can adopt to lose weight, and do it effectively. For starters, eating a balanced diet and exercising on a regular basis are two things that is sure to keep your weight in check.
But, losing weight is a task which requires perfection. If you are not getting the desired result despite the best of your efforts, then it is quite possible that something is amiss.
Trying to Lose Weight? Don’t Make These Common Diet Mistakes!
1- Focusing only on the scale weight – The scale reading does not always give you the correct picture. You are not alone if you feel that you are not shedding weight quickly enough, despite adhering to a strict diet and exercise regimen.
There are various ways to measure whether you are losing weight or not, and scale weight is just one of them. Several things can affect your weight, including water retention (or fluid fluctuations) and the food that remains in your system. Depending on what you have eaten and the amount of liquid you consume, your weight can vary as much as 4 pounds during a day.
If the reading on the scale is stagnant, you might well be shedding fat mass, but retaining water. There are a lot many things that you can do to lose water weight. Also, with a strict exercise regimen in place, it is quite possible that you are adding muscle mass to your body while losing fat.
Hence, even when the scale shows no positive movement, you might notice that your waistline has reduced (your clothes become loose, especially around your waist).
Don’t concentrate too much on the scale weight, instead take a tape measure and start keeping a tab on your waistline. Alternatively, you can click your pictures on a monthly basis and see the difference.
2- Also, focusing too much on what you can’t have – Losing weight is as much a psychological battle as it is a physical one. You should not just concentrate on things you can’t have, instead focus on foods that you can eat.
You can get into depression if you keep thinking that you can’t have dessert, alcohol, sugar, cheese and/ or bread. Instead, focus on the superfoods you are allowed to eat, which is not just good for your weight loss program, but is also excellent for your overall health.
Moreover, if you can have foods that you like the most in moderation, then you can have everything. But, the key here is “moderation’.
The main aim when embarking on a weight loss program is to keep negative thoughts at bay and focus on the positives.
3- Not keeping a check on calorie intake – You need to burn more calories than you consume if you want to lose weight. A calorie deficit is the need of the hour if you have plans to shed those extra pounds. Earlier, it was thought that bringing down the calorie intake by 3,500 per week would result in a one-pound loss of fat. But, recent studies show that calorie deficit needs are different for every individual.
Many people think that they are not consuming too many calories. But, the fact of the matter is that we tend to miscalculate and underreport when it comes to what we eat. You could have switched to healthy foods like cheese and nuts, but don’t forget that they are high in calories. Hence, you have to control the amount you eat – portion size is the key here.
On the contrary, you should not decrease your calorie intake drastically. Unless you are strictly following the 800 calorie diet, if your calorie intake is less than 1, 000 per day, then it can slow down your metabolism and also cause muscle loss.
4- Not drinking adequate amount of water – We tend to concentrate too much on the food we can eat and those
that we can’t, but forget the importance of water. More than seventy percent of our body is made of water. Drinking less water during your weight loss schedule can hamper your efforts, hence, always keep yourself hydrated.
Water also keeps helps keep your skin looking youthful so drink up! If you’re not a fan of water and think you can’t get your recommended 8 glasses per day in, try “infused water” and flavor it with lemons, limes, or cucumbers.
Research suggests that drinking water, soup, or having a water rich salad before the start of your meal can lower the amount of food you eat. Water decreases your appetite and you tend to eat less during your meal. Also, when you stay hydrated, it can ward off headaches, and headaches are known to trigger stress eating.
5- Exercising more or not exercising at all – Exercising is essential not just for weight loss, but also for keeping your health in good shape. And, when you cut down on your calories without doing any exercise, you are likely to lose more muscle mass, and it would also slow down your metabolic rate.
Exercising help you lose more fat, it decreases the loss of lean mass and keeps your metabolic rate in check.
But, exercising helps you if you don’t overdo it. If you start over-exercising, even this can lead to a lot of problems. Excessive exercising is not manageable for many in the long run, and it also increases your stress levels. Too much exercise is not advisable if you are planning to lose weight and it is also not good for your health.’
Add cardio and weight lifting exercises to your schedule (several times a week) to keep your metabolic rate in check and lose weight.
6- Meal skipping – This is a mistake many people commit without realizing that it never helps the cause of weight loss. When you deprive your body of food, it hits your metabolism hard, which certainly does not help the cause of weight loss.
When you eat after a long gap, you tend to eat more than usual. This overeating can only increase your weight, instead of helping you lose any. You should not go hungry for more than 4 – 5 hours at a stretch. Always eat a healthy something during the meals.
Never skip a meal because it can only hamper your weight loss efforts.
7- Relying too much on “Diet” or low fat foods – Processed diet or low foods are not good for anybody’s health, and it certainly is not recommended if you are on a weight loss program.
Many diet products need sugar to enhance their taste. For example, one cup of low fat or diet yogurt (fruit flavored) can have as much as 47 grams of sugar, (which is equal to 12 teaspoons of sugar).
Low fat or diet foods don’t make you feel full; they can only make you hungrier. And, this is the reason that you end up eating more food.
Hence, try to have less of processed foods, and select a diet that is high in nutrition.
8- Not eating sufficient protein – If you want to lose weight, then you should eat protein in
abundance. Protein reduces your appetite, it increases your metabolic rate and it also decreases the intake of calories. Also, protein keeps your muscle mass intact during the process of weight loss and it makes you feel full.
A diet that is high in protein helps control appetite and also improves body composition.
You can get protein from a variety of sources, one of the most popular ways is in powder form like Primal Protein Powder from Julian Bakery. We like this brand because it only has 2 ingredients, both being organic, and it is free of GMOs, soy, gluten, hormones, and rGBH, and you can use it and stay in ketosis.
9- Not having sufficient amount of fiber – A diet that is low in fiber is not good for your weight loss regimen. Fiber is known to make you feel full and reduces your appetite. A diet rich in fiber can also help you decrease calorie absorption from other foods.
A rich fiber diet is not just good for weight loss; it is also excellent for your health because it keeps your gut in perfect condition.
If you are planning to lose weight, then you need to have a structured plan in place to maximize your efforts. There would be many questions in your mind like what you should eat, things that you must avoid, how much should you exercise and how to optimize your efforts.
Each person is different and so are their needs. To chalk out a workable weight loss strategy just get in touch with Solutions Weight Loss and speak to Dr. Newsome. The expert guidance will help you formulate a concrete plan that would allow you to lose weight effectively and quickly.
At Solutions Weight Loss, we make sure that you follow the correct path and reach your goal well in time.
Obesity is a universal issue that affects many people, and Americans are no different. Particularly, when a new year rolls around the cries of “new year, new me!” can be heard. However, despite the fact that many Americans want to lose weight and get rid of belly fat, most are not successful in their attempts. Obesity is a risk factor for a variety of diseases like stroke, heart attack, cancer and type 2 diabetes. However, they are all preventable with a health diet.
It is difficult to lose weight in the first place but one thing that is even more challenging is to maintain your weight after shedding those extra pounds. Just as fashions come and go so do many diets. However, there is one diet backed by science that is gaining a lot of popularity called the ketogenic diet.
A ketogenic diet not only helps you to lose weight; it also improves your focus and provides you the much needed energy, but what exactly does it entail.
What is Ketosis & How Does it Work?
A ketogenic diet is extremely low in carbohydrates, contains adequate amount of proteins and is high in fat.
When you reduce the intake of carbohydrates and increase fat consumption, your body slips into a metabolic state, which is referred to as ketosis. This is the state when the body fats start getting converted in to ketones.
Normally, in case of a healthy individual who is on a balanced diet, it is the body that decides the amount of fat it needs to burn. And, in such situations your body doesn’t produce or use ketones. However, when you cut down on carbohydrates, your body switches track and the process of ketosis gets underway. This ensures that the energy requirement of your body is effectively met at all times. The process of ketosis can also set in when you exercise for long durations.
After you spend some time on a ketogenic diet (few weeks), your body gets attuned to burning fats and producing ketones efficiently for energy instead of using carbohydrates.
Also, a ketogenic diet reduces the insulin levels. Other than weight loss, a ketogenic diet increases the production of ketones and maintains lower insulin levels. Hence, it (a keto diet) has many other health benefits as well.
What Does a Ketogenic Diet Include?
Protein is the mainstay of the ketogenic diet and you can eat a variety. From dairy products like cheese, creams and yogurt to meats such as chicken, pork, beef, goat, lamb, seafood and turkey.
You should also include oils and fats such as seeds and nuts. For example olive oil, sesame oil, grass-fed butter, ghee and safflower oil.
You should also include both fruits and vegetables that are low in carbohydrates. Like broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, asparagus, onions and peppers. And Fruits that are are low in sugar like avocados, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.
You can also add spices and herbs to your ketogenic diet, but be on the lookout to see if they contain any added sugar.
A ketogenic diet significantly reduces the intake of carbohydrates, limiting it to between 20 – 50 grams each day from all the sources, including whole and processed foods.
In terms of percentages, this is how a Ketogenic diet for weight loss stacks up
- Low carbohydrate intake between 5 – 10% of the total calories
- Moderate protein consumption of between 20 – 25% of the total calories
- High fat intake, which consists of 70 – 80% of the total calories
However, depending on your height, weight, gender and lean body mass, these percentages might vary from person to person.
Food to Avoid On a Ketogenic Diet
You need to avoid foods that are high in carbohydrates. This means cutting down on all the processed foods such as refined sugars and grains, juices, soft drinks, cookies, candies. As well as all flour based items that are baked, low fat products, pastas and breads. Also, avoid whole food carbohydrates such as rice, wheat, oats, corns, barley and rye. You should also steer clear of fruits such as banana, citrus fruits and apples. You also need to avoid peas and beans, white potatoes and other starchy food items.
How Does a Ketogenic Diet Help You Lose Weight?
There is no denying the fact that ketogenic diet is very helpful when it comes to weight loss. A ketogenic diet starts the process of ketosis in your body. This burns the fat in your body for energy instead of carbs because your body is already short on carbohydrates. In a study, it was found that those on a keto diet lost 2.2 times more than people who were on a low fat and low calorie diet. Good cholesterol and triglyceride levels were also found to improve when subjects were on a ketogenic diet.
If you are fed-up of counting your calories each time you sit to have your food, then ketogenic diet is the best available option for you.
Here are 5 Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
- Ketosis burn fats more effectively – When you start consuming a low carb diet and your body is short on carbohydrates then it starts burning fat from your body. In such cases, the primary source of energy changes to fat, which is directly used for energy generation. On a ketogenic diet your body remains in a state of fasting where you burn more fat during your day to day activities. People who find it hard to lose weight beyond a certain point can easily get rid of their unwanted fat once they shift to a ketogenic diet.
- Ketosis helps suppress your appetite – A low carb ketogenic diet can help you suppress your appetite by changing the levels of hormones and nutrients that make you feel hungry. It also makes you feel full. When your body is in a state of ketosis, you don’t feel like eating more and you are also able to control cravings for unhealthy and unwanted foods. This clearly means that you are able to better understand the hunger signals emanating from your body and you don’t have to keep counting the calories or start fasting. And, when you are able control your appetite, it is not too difficult to lose weight.
- Ketosis help regulate your weight hormones – A ketogenic diet can help you to support your weight loss endeavors by regulating the weight hormones. Once you eat, your intestine releases a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) and CCK in turn stimulates protein and fat digestion, which lowers your appetite. It means that cholecystokinin is a wonderful regulator of how much you eat. In a study, it was found that people who were injected with cholecystokinin stopped having their food earlier than those who were not given CCK. But, as you start losing weight cholecystokinin secretions takes a hit, which means you would feel hungry more often. And, this is where a ketogenic diet (hence ketosis) helps you. A week of being on ketosis is sufficient for your body to increase the levels of cholecystokinin. Ketosis takes your CCK levels back to what it was when you hadn’t lost weight. Needless to say that a ketogenic diet and subsequent ketosis can help you fight the problem of food cravings most of the time once you lose your weight. This significantly lowers your chances of regaining the weight.
- Ketosis also regulates your blood sugar levels – Your blood sugar stabilizes when you are on a ketogenic diet, which includes healthy fats, proteins and vegetables. This diet is better than foods that are high in carbs and refined sugars, which have a tendency to raise your blood sugar levels that makes you feel hungry soon again. When you limit your eating, cutting your weight down is not a big issue.
- Increases physical stamina – A ketogenic diet substantially increases your stamina as you have constant access to energy from your fat reserves. When you do an intense workout on a regular diet your body’s carbs or glycogen supply lasts for only a few hours. But, when you are on a ketogenic diet your fat reserves can supply energy for a very long period. You don’t just feel more energetic, but you can also do more rigorous exercises, which of course helps you lose weight pretty fast.
For a clear and tangible plan, contact Dr. Newsome at Solutions Weight Loss and get to know how a ketogenic diet will help you cut your weight.
The remarkably effective HCG diet plan was discovered (not created) in the 1950’s by a British researcher named Dr. Albert T. W. Simeons who observed that pregnant women in India shed fat while they were pregnant while still maintaining their lean muscle mass.
They were malnourished, but they still gave birth to very healthy babies. It was then that he realized right away that pregnant women had something most people don’t.
It turns out that pregnant women carry a hormone (HCG) that would pull calories and fuel from stored fat INSTEAD of lean muscle mass to feed the baby in their womb.
Of course, Dr. Simeons believed that anyone could use that same hormone to reach their weight and fat loss goals safely – while keeping their lean body mass. And (surprise, surprise) he was right!
HCG is a peptide naturally produced in large amounts by the placenta during early pregnancy. It has many functions in utero and is used medically to treat a variety of conditions. HCG was thought by Dr. Simeons to work on the hypothalamus of the brain where it encourages the body to release “fixed” or “abnormal” fat stores for fuel.
The plan is simple: eat a low (500-calorie/day) diet and take HCG hormone supplements – the same hormone pregnant women produce – and shave off pounds and pounds of fat safely, without harming your body’s natural metabolic rate.
Sounds easy enough, right?
Well, yes and no. The trick is NOT to just eat less calories. If that was all there was to it, you wouldn’t really need to use the hormones would you? (Trust me: I get that question all time time, so I know that’s what you’re thinking).
The trick is actually NOT in the calorie count but in the strict reduction of fat, sugars and carbs from your diet. ONLY when you reduce fat can your body try to use the fat is already has and ONLY when you take HCG injections does your body turn to your stored fat INSTEAD of your lean muscle mass.
Warning: Without the hormones and only the diet, YOU WILL lose lean muscle mass and risk damaging your natural metabolic rate.
Warning: Without the hormones and only the diet, YOU WILL lose lean muscle mass and risk damaging your natural metabolic rate.
Stage 1: The Indulgence
The first step in the HCG Diet Plan is to get your body ready to burn all that fat in the first place. For the first 2-3 days, you should indulge yourself without overdoing it. Take your HCG supplements or injections, but eat as much of your favorite foods as you would like.
Why not just jump right into the diet plan?
It takes about 2-3 days after taking the hormone for your body to access your “abnormal fat stores,” which are key to losing weight long term. You want to keep your normal fat stores well-stocked until that point. After the first 3 days, you should be ready for the 2nd stage.
Stage 2: The Burn
The 2nd stage is the main stage of the HCG diet. Once the 2-3 day indulgence (or “loading”) phase is over, it is time for the real work to begin. The #1 rule is to limit yourself to 500 calories per day of lean meats, vegetables and fruit.
Note: Just following the 500-calorie a day rule and ignoring the rest will NOT get you the results you desire. You can’t eat whatever you want under that limit. Instead, you need to focus on eating lean proteins, fruit and vegetables, while limiting your fat, sugar and carbohydrates. Also, as always, be sure to drink plenty of water.
To learn more about fats, starches and what to avoid, read this guide from Harvard on good fats, bad fats and those confusing “in-between” fats.
Here is what an average Stage 2 Day on the HCG Diet Plan looks like:
According to Dr. Simeon, breakfast should just be liquids, such as coffee or tea.
Lunch and dinner follow this simple formula: one lean protein, one vegetable, one fruit, and one starch.
Proteins (2 servings a day) can include the following:
- chicken breast (no thighs or fatty pieces)
- lean beef
- veal or any white fish
- *Avoid fatty fish, such as eel, herring, salmon or tuna.
Vegetables (2 servings a day) can include the following:
- Beet Greens
- Green Salad
- Red Radishes
Fruits (2 servings a day) can include the following:
- Strawberries (a handful)
- Small-medium sized orange
- One apple
- 1/2 of a grapefruit
Starches (2 servings a day) can include the following:
- One low-fat breadstick
- One Melba Toast
- Two Melba Rounds
Side note: I have had several patients who spread their dinner and lunch menus out during the day to avoid skipping breakfast. This is perfectly fine! As long as you stick to the basic menu items and 500-calorie plan, you will get the results you desire.
Stage 3: Stabilization
In his book, “Pounds and Inches,” Dr. Simeons recommended following a strict protocol for 3 weeks AFTER finishing Stage 2 and stopping your HCG drops or injections.
Here is what he recommends during this stage:
- Weight yourself every day to make sure you remain within 2 pounds of your most recent injection weight
- Avoid ALL sugars and starches (or, realistically, limit your intake greatly)
- Eat AT LEAST 100 grams of cooked, lean protein per day (if you go over your 2 pounds of Stage 2 weight, plan a steak day right away)
Even though you are done with your injections, this stage is 100% crucial to the success of the HCG diet. Why?
From the day you stop your last HCG injection, your body will be very sensitive to high-sugar or high-carbohydrate foods. It is critical that you follow this phase as faithfully as you did Stage 2.
During Stage 3, your hypothalamus will reset, rewiring your metabolism and erasing the effects of yo-yo dieting and poor eating habits. The weight you reach on the morning of your last injection is the weight that you should use as a basis for your maintenance phase. Many call this Last Injection Weight (LIW).
Here are some words from Dr. Simeons himself that illustrates this point:
“It takes about 3 weeks before the weight reached at the end of the treatment becomes stable, i.e. does not show violent fluctuations after an occasional excess. During this period patients must realize that the so-called carbohydrates (that is: sugar, rice, bread, potatoes, pastries), are by far the most dangerous.
If no carbohydrates whatsoever are eaten, fats can be indulged in… But as soon as fats and starch are combined things are very liable to get out of hand. This has to be observed very carefully during the first 3 weeks after the treatment is ended otherwise disappointments are almost sure to occur.”
Ready to try HCG for yourself and melt those extra pounds away? Here are some key reminders and tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid using oil-based cosmetics or skincare products, as added oils can interfere with the hormones and derail your results
- Always plan your meals ahead of time, and set yourself up for success. If you get hungry before lunch, “borrow” a fruit or vegetable from the other meals. As long as you stay under 500 calories, you will still be on target.
- Take the maintenance phase seriously, as outlined above.
Why use medically-supervised weight loss instead of following the HCG plan myself?
After Stages 1 and 2 of the HCG Diet, it is important to make significant dietary and lifestyle changes to support your body and sustain the weight loss. With medical supervision, the HCG Diet also provides a safe and reliable means to treating obesity.
HCG diet programs that provide the best results offer a medically-supervised program that supports the patient before, during, and after weight loss. As with any weight loss program, it is not uncommon for patients to put pounds back on once they go back to eating the standard American diet.
One of our favorite things about the HCG Diet protocol is that our patients lose the majority of their weight from fat mass and not lean mass. However, the HCG Diet is not a “magic wand.” You cannot remove fat stores forever or simply reset the hypothalamus and go back to eating a normal diet. To achieve the best lifelong results and change, consider a medically-supervised plan with a doctor who is experiencing in helping patients gain long-term results.